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Official Review by Andrew Kulyk, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Auburn, New York, located upstate in the Finger Lakes region, has been a host city to the New York Penn League since 1958. The team has almost had as many different nicknames as there are years. Since 1996, the team has been known as the Auburn Doubledays, saluting the great Abner Doubleday. The team has been playing at Falcon Park, a ballpark which has been in existence since 1927, but was demolished and totally rebuilt following the 1994 season.
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There is but one concession stand, sort of behind home plate, and an ice cream stand down the first base line. The food is pretty cheap, although it is just the standard ballpark fare. Hot dogs run $3, and soda pop ($2-$3.50). They also offer fries and cheese fries, salads, Italian sausage, pizza and nachos supreme. Draft or bottled beer runs a cheap $3. Down the left field line is an area called the Doubledeck offering freshly grilled chicken and brats and nine different microbrews.
The stadium is small (capacity 2,800) with one grandstand with a canopy, a phone booth-sized pressbox, and the bare bones scoreboard. Games here are more like a community social event. Everyone in the stands seems to know each other. Game day promotions and entertainment are at a minimum.
Like its peer venues in Batavia and Jamestown, this is simply a neighborhood ballpark. There is ample free parking on the grass lots across the streets, and houses in the neighborhood which are somewhat dog eared. Auburn is a quaint and charming historical town, offering art and antique shops, historical museums to local greats Harriet Tubman and William Seward. The shopping attractions here are anchored by a Bass Pro Shop, the only one in Upstate New York. However, none of this is near the stadium.
The Doubledays rank near the bottom of attendance in the New York Penn League, which has seen movement of franchises from off the beaten path towns such as this one to gleaming new venues in bedroom communities such as Brooklyn, Staten Island and State College.
You want to visit? Drive. Route 20 is the main drag which bisects the city. Falcon Park is down a narrow two lane side street which is well marked from the main road. Half a mile and you are here. Parking is free at Falcon Park.
General admission tickets run $6. Seniors and kids tickets are $5. Sit anywhere you want although the box seats up front will cost a couple dollars extra. With free parking and the cheap concession prices, how can one go wrong?
Falcon Park is actually named after a local service organization called the Polish Falcons. The field was renamed Leo Pinckney Field in honor of one of the builders of the New York Penn League and a local resident.
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